How Companies Can Rise Up in their Response to Harvey

Amanda Shaker

It goes without saying that to describe the effects of Hurricane Harvey as devastating is a severe understatement.  CNN reported that approximately 27 trillion gallons of rain fell on Texas and Louisiana in less than a week.  72,000 people were rescued.  Fires, displaced residents, destroyed infrastructure, and student relocation are only a few of the massive agenda items Harvey left in its wake.

The rest of the country and the world want to help.  Situations like these create not only a helplessness among those not affected but also a desire to contribute and help in any way possible.  It’s an opportunity for employers to organize and communicate.  It not only reinforces to your employees that you care about the community, it also conveys empathy and compassion, something that can get lost in a workplace setting, especially within larger corporations.

Communicate the Status of Your Affected Team Members

If you have offices or team members located in affected areas, assure the rest of the organization that you’re in regular contact with them and supporting them and their families.  Provide updates, while respecting privacy, of course, on their well-being so they’re not being inundated with check-ins.


Support the region.  Organize drives.  Remind your team of your company match policy, if you have one.  If you don’t have one, perhaps this is an opportunity to make an exception.  Many employees forget that this is an option.  It shows your team that you care, it makes their donation seem bigger and it creates a greater sense of community among your organization.

Devastation such as this can be a test for an organization.  How are you going to respond?  How are you going to help unite?  How are you going to make a difference?